Questions swirl around fatal shooting of Louisiana boy

Shocked Louisiana Community Pays Respects to Boy Shot by Police


Louisiana's top state police official told NBC News on Sunday that it is still unclear why two city marshals chased an SUV last week and opened fire on it, allegedly killing a 6-year-old autistic boy and seriously wounding his father.

Jeremy Mardis, who was buckled in to the SUV's front seat, was pronounced dead after being struck by five bullets Tuesday night in Marksville, Louisiana; he is scheduled to be buried Monday in the city cemetery in Beaumont, Mississippi. Mardis' father, Chris Few, remains hospitalized and in serious condition.

See photos of Jeremy and the officers involved:

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Shooting death of 6-year-old autistic boy Jeremy Mardis
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Questions swirl around fatal shooting of Louisiana boy
6-year-old Jeremy Mardis in an undated photo. (Photo via KPLC)
“Disturbing” camera footage helped build case against 2 officers in shooting death of 6-year-old boy, official says. https://t.co/tLyAXvaCHv
"He loved giving hugs and kisses." New tonight: our latest on the life and tragic death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis https://t.co/eyzzaY1bVT
Glad the 2 officers who killed #JeremyMardis are going to be held accountable & justice will be served. Why not the same for #TamirRice?
Jeremy Mardis is youngest person killed by police in the U.S. this year. He was 6. Yes, you read that right. 6. https://t.co/K1K5Jg0KUR
HE HAS A NAME: Jeremy Mardis (age 6) killed after police shot his dad’s car as he fled cops trying to issue warrant https://t.co/WO6KElAYOa
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"We've got to find out what caused those officers to effect that pursuit, to effect that traffic stop, and what caused them to fire their weapons," Col. Michael Edmonson, the state police superintendent, told NBC News.

The marshals — Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23 — were charged Friday with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. Stafford is a lieutenant with the Marksville police; Greenhouse is a full-time marshal in the nearby city of Alexandria. Both are being held without bail.

A source close to Few told NBC News that before the encounter with authorities, Few had an argument outside a local pool hall, TJ's Lounge, with his girlfriend. After leaving, Few picked up his son from a babysitter's house.

Shortly after, the chase began, although it remains unclear why the marshals, who are tasked with serving warrants, pursued Few. State police said that there are no warrants for his arrest.

Look through recent incidents of alleged police brutality:

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Recent shootings by police and protests
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Questions swirl around fatal shooting of Louisiana boy
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People hold signs in protest after a jury found St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Philando Castile yesterday, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Bria Webb
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People take part in a protest against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile during a march in New York July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Demonstrators march through the streets protesting the Staten Island, New York grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July on December 6, 2014 in New York City. Protests are being staged nationwide after grand juries investigating the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York failed to indict the police officers involved in both incidents. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A protest sign showing and image of Ezell Ford as members of the 'Black Lives Matter' alliance stage protest outside the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's home as they try to force him to fire LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, in Los Angeles, California on June 7, 2015. The alliance have renewed protests after a recent report from an LAPD watchdog determined that the August 11, 2014 officer-involved shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South Central was justified. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Portland, United States - May 19: Protesters hold a banner during a demonstration for freedom and equality against police brutality and racism at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct in Portland, Ore., United States, on May 19, 2017, on what would have been Malcolm X's 92nd birthday. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Portland, United States - May 19: Protesters hold signs during a demonstration for freedom and equality against police brutality and racism at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct in Portland, Ore., United States, on May 19, 2017, on what would have been Malcolm X's 92nd birthday. (Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Initial reports said Few backed into a marshal's vehicle, although only minor damage on that car is visible. No weapons were found in Few's SUV, and no shots were reported before the marshals opened fire.



Earlier this year, Stafford and Greenhouse — along with several other Marksville officers — were accused in a civil lawsuit filed in federal district court of using excessive force during a Libertarian event July 4, 2014, in downtown Marksville.

Ian Fridge, who filed the lawsuit, said that after he arrived at the event with a firearm, which he believed he was allowed to publicly display, the officers Tasered him and charged him with resisting arrest, battery on an officer and other crimes — despite his being "completely compliant," the lawsuit says.

In an affidavit included in the lawsuit, Stafford says that Fridge was not allowed to carry a firearm in areas where alcohol was sold and that officers "were in fear" that he would "draw" his gun.

At one point, according to the affidavit, Stafford asked Fridge "why did he put the small children and public at risk the way he did, and the subject just laughed."

WATCH: Shooting that claimed young boy's life may be on tape:

Police: Shooting That Claimed Young Boy's Life May Be on Tape

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